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Festivals and family events in Minnesota

Minnesota may be known for its extreme weather, but that doesn’t stop this state from celebrating with year-round family-friendly events.

Minnesota state fair carousel

Minnesota State Fair

This annual 12-day fair that runs through Labor Day consistently ranks as one of the top state fairs in the country. Rides, games, 4-H shows, concerts and entertainment make up this famous fair. The highlights, though, are the wild and wacky food concoctions that show up on a stick. Chocolate covered bacon, deep-fried butter and pork chops are some of the food items that have made this list.

Location: 1265 N. Snelling Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108

Rates: Admission is $7-$12, children under five are free


Dragon Festival

Most families in the U.S. don’t get to visit Asia, but that’s OK because every summer Asia comes to Minnesota through the annual Dragon Festival which takes place in July at Lake Phalen Park in Saint Paul. This family-friendly event features Asia’s traditional dances and music. Families enjoy relishing the sights, sounds and celebration.

Location: Lake Phalen Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Rates: Free


Holz Farm Festivals

Holz Farm in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan has three annual festivals: Spring Festival in May, Lone Oak Days in September and Old Fashioned Holiday in December. This former working farm has been preserved as a living history farm which welcomes the entire family for a fun experience to see what life was like in the 1800s.

Location: 4665 Manor Drive, Eagan, MN 55123

Rates: Free


Festa Italiana

Harriet Island in Saint Paul comes to life every year with the Festa Italiana celebration. Families with kids of all ages happily partake in the Italian ambiance complete with food, games, music, dancing and an authentic Italian gondola ride.

Location: Harriet Island, Saint Paul, MN 55101

Rates: Free



The Best Days of Summer Aquatennial, held for a week in July in Minneapolis, is a kid’s summer dream-come-true. As the name implies, there are plenty of water activities, but the week also consists of a popular Sandcastle Competition, Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Races, fireworks and the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade.

Location: 81 S. 9th Street #260, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Rates: Free


Image courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

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